SRSP 11-16 Topic 4 U1a – A scientific account of the beginning


This unit assumes the Big Bang as a starting point and traces the evolution of the universe from the beginning to the present day.

Are you convinced by the theory of the Big Bang? The journal, Astronomy, December 2002, points out that just one in three Americans believes that the Universe began in the cosmic explosion called the Big Bang. That’s about 5% fewer than before the 1990s.

The scientific story of the creation of the Universe from the Big Bang through to the evolution of the human brain is incomplete but compelling.

The major theological questions that it raises are (a) whether the scientific story removes a role for God, and (b) whether we are made entirely from the same stuff as the rest of the universe – whether, in fact, there is any need to talk of an ‘added something’ that distinguishes us, as humans, from the rest of the universe. In addition to these questions, the material of this topic provides an excellent and interesting background to a discussion of God’s interaction with the world and the notion of miracle.

This unit consists of 3 lessons and is suitable for students aged from 14 to 16 years


Key Questions

  • What can science tell us about how the universe began?
  • Can we trust what science tells us about the beginning of the universe?
  • Is science in conflict with religion about how the universe started?

Some of the materials can be viewed on screen and some can be downloaded for editing or printing. To view the pdf files you need Adobe Acrobat Reader. See the about section for more details.

Unit Resources

Unit Overview (Word)


Lesson 1

Lesson Plan: Where are we? (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 1: Questions for discussion (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 2: Glossary (Word)

Teacher Resource Sheet 1: A Brief History of History (Word)

Teacher Resource Sheet 2: Cosmology and Theology (Word)

Powerpoint Resource: Foundations of Astronomy (PPT)


Lesson 2

Lesson Plan: Why are we here? (Word)

Student Worksheet: Questions on How the Universe Evolved (Word)

Powerpoint Resource: How the universe evolved (PPT)


Lesson 3

Lesson Plan (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 1: Storyboard proforma (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 2: The Genesis account (Word)

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